The last step in installing an IKEA kitchen are the details, namely the cornice, deco strip, cover panels, doors and hinges, drawer fronts, and hardware. We have all of that done so far except for the door/drawer hardware.
The cornice and the deco strip are actually the same bit of trim that is installed in two different ways. For the cornice, the trim piece is installed with the wider side parallel to the top of the cabinets. The deco strip is installed with the narrower side parallel to the bottom of the cabinets. Both pieces of trim are optional.
We used the cornice to fill in the space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. This gave us a bit of breathing room during installation to account for a less than level ceiling and to safeguard against our less than perfect installation. The cornice really finishes it off. We ignored the instructions that came with the cornice and opted to use construction adhesive between the trim and the cabinets so that we didn’t have to screw into them from the inside of the cabinets.
The deco strip does a great job hiding our under cabinet lighting. We did follow the instructions included for installing the deco strip. The trim comes with screws, brackets, and a roll of spongy tape. The tape runs between the trim and the cabinets, though we’re not entirely sure of its purpose. The brackets slide into a groove on the back of the deco strip and is screwed into the cabinet.
The difficult portion of installation for both the cornice and the deco strip are mitering the corners. Most of the cuts are a standard 45° miter, but that angle does not work for the case of our corner cabinet. The instructions say to cut at a 67.5° angle, but most miter saws will not go this high. Use a 22.5° angle for all of your cuts and you’ll be good to go. We found it helpful to make templates out of the sticks of styrofoam that came in some of our other IKEA products’ packaging to prevent any damage to our expensive trim pieces.
Since IKEA kitchen cabinets are modular with all the same cabinets on the inside and different finishes on the doors and drawers, cover panels need to be installed on end cabinets in order to have a seamless look. These are installed with screws provided usually through holes that are already pre-drilled, though it depends on where the cover panel is located. For example, on the back of our peninsula, Dave attached the cover panel using L brackets. In order to do this, we did not install the back of the cabinets like we did with the other cabinets.
Installing the hinges and doors was super easy. The hinges come in three parts: the latch that is just pushed into place and snapped in, a base that is screwed into the pre-drilled holes, and the dampener (optional) which just snaps onto the hinge. The dampener prevents the door from slamming and helps it close completely, they are also available for the drawers (see below). There are a couple of different types of hinges. The basic hinge opens 125° and is used for the majority of the doors. Some doors require a 153° hinge to accommodate internal drawers or are used on the corner wall cabinet. You don’t have to worry about which ones to order because the computer will figure it out for you based on the cabinets you are buying.
Lastly are the drawer fronts, which are a little more complex than the doors, but once you get the hang of it, they come together quite quickly. There are two different types of drawers, internal and external. The external drawers are just your basic drawer and they have a drawer front that matches your cabinet doors. The internal drawers are found inside the cabinets and are useful in the pantry and so you don’t have to dig around in the back of your cabinet. We opted to have internal drawers in the pantry and the cabinet where we’ll store our stand mixer and food processor. The internal drawers have a simple metal and plastic front. Both types of drawers are put together the same way until the last step when the front is attached. The drawers must be completely assembled, but everything either snaps or slides into place so it’s fairly straightforward.
One drawer that was a bit more difficult was the slide out cabinet for our garbage can. It was a bit more difficult because from the outside it looks like a cabinet rather than a drawer and the cover attaches in two separate places. The most confusing part of this is that one of the screws is screwed into the plastic plug that is placed in the opening where the hinge is usually located. To spare you the grief if you end up doing this, make sure you place the plug in backwards compared to the directions, because if you do it the way they tell you, it’s a bitch to get out!
So all that’s left to our kitchen remodel, at least on the IKEA side of things, is installing the door/drawer hardware. I’m nervous about this step because once you drill those holes, there’s no going back! The countertops are being installed at the end of next week, I’ll have a separate post about those soon. And in the next couple of weeks, we should finish the rest off. We’re eager for our kitchen, Dave cannot wait to bake some bread and I haven’t even decided what I want to make first, whether to bake or to cook. I’ll probably do a lot of both!
P.S. And if you’re wondering why our kitchen is looking a little Smurfy, it’s the protective film that came on all the ABSTRAKT pieces (doors, drawers, cover panels, and trim). We’re waiting until everything is done before removing it. Once it comes off, you need to wipe it all down with a weak soap solution to help cure the finish and protect it in the long run.